Well, that’s been a long break! And that would be the ADHD showing it’s stinky head, right there. If it’s not right in front of me, screaming at me, it’s forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind, that’s me in a nutshell. Fortunately, I’m finally developing some methods for avoiding that problem, and they’re finally making their way to things like my blog.
So, I’m a virtual bachelorette once again. Grizzly Bear, my husband, is off to school again, to finish up the last year of his apprenticeship training. Unfortunately, when he gets home, he’s still going to have 1800 hours of work time to put in before he has enough to get his Red Seal, but at least at the end of his 10 weeks at school this time, he writes his Intra-Provincial exam and is all good to go on that end of things so that the minute he hits the 6000 hour mark (that’s the total for all 4 years), things are signed off on and he becomes a journeyman (and can apply for the final government grant that he’s eligible for once he’s journeyed).
Sadly, because of various reasons, when he got home from school last fall, he worked one day and was immediately laid off. The economy in our area has gone from amazingly good to amazingly depressing, mostly because of greedy assholes in other parts of the world and uninformed twits in our own country. So while he’s at school, he’s going to take a couple of short term courses that can be completed on the weekends, so he can get work in another field until the oil & gas market picks back up again. And that will happen eventually, no matter what the tree-huggers think. 🙂
Anyhow, that’s enough venting for now. I’m off to finish up some paying work, and then finish up the second half of my current sewing project. I hope to have pics up tomorrow, since the intent is to have this outfit finished tonight and wear it tomorrow.
Holy cow, I’m actually doing some seasonal knitting!
Ok, ok, it’s not a gift, unless you count knitting for myself to be a gift for me. But it’s Yule related. I saw the Celtic Santa hat pattern on Facebook one day, and just *had* to knit one for myself. I picked up a couple skeins of Galway yarn in what I think are Ecru and Blood Red at my LYS and cast it onto the needles on December 12th. 9 days later, I think I’m somewhere around the 75% done mark… but at the rate I’m going now, it might just be finished tonight. That would be awesome as I’d love to wear it at work the next couple of days.
As you can probably well imagine, I’ve been a little busy the past few weeks. Ian (my hubby) is down in Vancouver going to school at the moment, so I had to take care of the entire move by myself. We hired a professional moving company to do the heavy lifting, thank goodness, but I had to do all of the rest by myself. We were on vacation up until 9 days before our possession date, so I had a very limited amount of time in which to finish the packing. So by the time the movers came on the 22nd, I was mostly packed, but had to do a lot by myself in the car between the date the movers moved the furniture and the date I had to be out of our old place. Plus all the cleaning of the old place on top of it. Whew! It was quite the chore, but I made it! Even got 85% of our damage deposit back, which I didn’t expect at all. So now… on to unpacking, organizing, and eventually, renovating and redecorating! I’ll definitely be posting about those projects here!
This is probably the biggest news I’ve had in a long time… we’ve bought a house! In fact, it’s been in the works for a while now – the period between our offer and closing was close to two months, I think – but we closed on it last Friday, and I’ve been manically packing away for the past few weeks. It was a little hairy throwing a vacation in there, and sending off to school, more about which I will write shortly after the move (heck, I still haven’t even downloaded the majority of our vacation photos off of my dSLR!), but for now I need to make sure we’re packed in time for the movers to come and do the heavy lifting for me on Friday.
I’ve got the pictures from the MLS listing saved to my dropbox, but I’m not going to post them all at once – the house has good bones but the decor is seriously dated. I may use them as “before” photos, because of course new house means… redecorating and remodeling! I’m really looking forward to that part. The basics details are… it’s a 2200 square foot, 4 bedroom, 2 story house (main and basement floors) on a double lot (65 x 135 feet), 2 car garage (that’s been turned into 1 car plus workshop), in Taylor, BC. Taylor is a community of about 1200 people, 14 kilometers southeast of Fort St. John. I will have a commute of about 15 minutes in to work, which is really no big deal.
I finished another project on the weekend, and it’s my first cross-stitch project in a LONG time. But when I saw this pattern, I just *had* to do it… it was just absolutely awesome. I posted about it on Facebook, as well, and a friend fell in love with it, but she doesn’t do cross-stitch. I mentioned that I did, and that I was happy to do commissions, but since I didn’t know how long it would take – but wanted one for myself – I would stitch one up, and see how long it took, and give her a price estimate based on that. If it was more than she was able to spend, I would then just keep the first one for myself. If she wanted it, I’d sell her the first one and stitch another one for myself.
Sadly, it’s looking like my price estimate was out of her budget (and I refuse to undervalue my work – I’d rather give it away to a friend as a gift than sell my work for a pittance), so once I get a chance to iron, mount and frame this, it will be going up on my wall! At the moment I’m thinking of hanging it in the den – I’ve had the idea of keeping the truly geeky stuff in the den, and hanging the slightly less geeky stuff in the living room, bedroom and so on. But that may change!
I’m not sure what’s up next yet. I’ve begun another geeky cross-stitch piece, but I’m not obsessing over that one quite as much as I did this one. I also have two knitting projects on the go – a headband in a lace stitch I made up myself, and a lace shawl that’s just barely started. I also have a couple of pieces of garb I want to get cut out and start working on, so that I can hand stitch them on my breaks at work, and hopefully have at least one of them finished by the event I’m attending at the end of the month.
After I posted a picture of my finished Maple Leaf Shawl on my personal Facebook page, a friend of mine messaged me and asked if I ever did commissions, and if I would be willing to do some knitting for her. I’ve never done any knitting commissions before, and mentioned that in general, most people don’t want to pay what knitting is worth because of the time involved, but she was totally willing to compensate me for my time, so I took on a commission of creating two baby cardigan sweaters for her to give as gifts to expecting coworkers.
I finished the first one up last weekend, and was going to wait until both were done to send them to save on shipping, but the first recipient only has a week left of work, so she asked if I would send it on its own. It went off this morning with Canada Post and should reach her by the middle of next week. I’ve already started the second one, and have completed the back and started the front pieces (I’m knitting both at the same time on a long circular needle with two different balls of yarn.
I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out. Now I need to finish the second one, so I can get it off to her and then move on to my first cross-stitch commission!
I finished the Maple Leaf shawl today on my lunch break, and as I’d woven almost all of the ends in previously on my coffee break, I only had 3 or 4 more to weave in before I could block it. Here’s the shawl all laid out on my blocking boards…
If it dries overnight (and it should), I’m planning to wear it to work tomorrow and I will hopefully be able to get a coworker to take a picture of it on me so I can show you the finished product tomorrow.
Now I’m trying to figure out what to do for my next project. I have two skeins of this gorgeous yarn to work with…
This is Creeping Bellflower‘s Bell Fingering in the Fade to Black Cherry colourway, which I purchased at Faking Sanity in Dawson Creek. Actually come to think of it, I got the yarn for the Maple Leaf Shawl there too – it’s done in Araucania’s Ranco Solid yarn, though the colourway didn’t have a name – it’s a lovely rusty red with a slight bit of variation in the colour, and it was absolutely perfect for this project.
But I’m actually thinking of starting a non-knitting project first before I go on to another knitting project. I have a couple of pieces of linen in my living room that I could start working with – stuff for a purple viking coat and a pinky-peach underdress. I’m also thinking of forcing myself to knit up a project or two that I’m not so gung-ho about first, just because I have a lot of other yarn languishing in my den and not being loved. So I’ll have to have a look through my bins and see what I can dredge up. I can’t not have anything on the go!
I live my life on a somewhat weird schedule. My husband works in camp, on a schedule that puts him away from home for 8 days and then home for 6, usually. At the moment this is changed – he’ll be gone for 2 weeks straight this time, and then home for two weeks (though we’re hoping he’ll get some day assignments during that period of time when he’s home. In any case, the end result of this is that I live one way while he’s away, and I live quite differently when he’s home. A good example of this is my eating habits.
I’m one of those people who really hates cooking for just themselves. If left to my own devices (especially considering my ADHD), half the time I would forget to eat while he’s away, and the other half of the time, my dinners would be crackers & cheese or popcorn. I really have to work at not doing this kind of thing because it’s not healthy. So I came up with the idea of choosing a bunch of recipes – mostly soups and stew-type dishes, that i can make in bulk and then either eat until they’re gone, or until I’m tired of them, and then make new ones (if I tire of them before they’re gone, I’ll package the leftovers up for the freezer, which is another awesome way to avoid the problem of not eating healthy). Add in the fact that I’m actively trying to make myself try new recipes, and I love Pinterest, and bingo… a plan is made. I decided to just pick a bunch of recipes and not assign them to certain days, so that when I go to cook, I can just go with what I’m feeling like at the time. So here’s my menu plan for the next week or so:
African Chicken Peanut Stew
Chicken Tagine with Apricots, Almonds and Chickpeas (I plan to substitute rice for the couscous in this one as I really don’t care for couscous
Crock Pot Pork with Apples, Onions and Cabbage (I’ll likely serve this with potatoes, I just don’t want them to go mushy in the crockpot). No recipe for this one, I’m going to make it up as I go along. I’ll write it up here when it’s done!
Crock pot Cabbage Roll Soup
Mushroom Barley Soup
Those should last me a good long time! I’m thinking I’m going to get the Cabbage Roll Soup into the crockpot this morning, and then make the African Chicken Peanut Stew on the stove this evening. I need to get that made soon as my cilantro is threatening to kick the bucket.